Early September marks the beginning of the season for Equal Exchange avocados. While avocados are grown year-round by our small farmer partners in Mexico, it is during the early fall that the harvest of this creamy and delicious tropical fruit reaches a sufficient volume for Equal Exchange to begin importing and selling to our customers on a weekly basis. As the Avocado Supply Chain Coordinator, I’ve spent the past year managing the weekly logistics of import and distribution from our office in Massachusetts.
Frankie PondolphSeptember 18, 2018
Frankie PondolphSeptember 10, 2018
Equal Exchange has been operating in the Portland, Oregon area since the mid 1990’s. As a worker-owner of Equal Exchange, I was curious about this transition of the company from being east-centric to bicoastal. How did it all begin? Who was involved? What is the unfolding story and how did it take shape? Where did we come from and where are we going?
Frankie PondolphAugust 16, 2018Categories:
On June 22-24th workers-owners of Equal Exchange Frankie Pondolph and Rose Smith along with Action Forum member Megan Straughen attended New Economy Coalition biennial conference, CommonBound. This year the conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri bringing together individuals over the course of three days to work towards owning our collective power and building the seeds for a new and transformative economy both locally and internationally. Below both Megan and Rose reflect on their experiences at CommonBound and what they learned to build capacity, tools and resilience for the future.
Frankie PondolphAugust 6, 2018
By Laura Bechard, Chocolate Supply Chain Coordinator, Equal Exchange
Frankie PondolphJuly 27, 2018
By Frankie Pondolph, Action Forum Organizer
Building off of the success of our June Summit, the Action Forum hosted our second summit of the year on July 7th and 8th-bringing together EE worker-owners, action forum members, farmer partners and alternative trader friends for two days of learning, engaging and connecting. On the first day, forty of us gathered in a room overlooking Chicago's downtown, the room filled with threads of conversation about what brought each of us to the gathering and how far we had traveled.
Frankie PondolphJuly 11, 2018
In early April, Carly Kadlec and Mike Mowry of Equal Exchange traveled to Manos Campesinas in Guatemala alongside cuppers from three partner cooperatives in Chiapas, Mexico to join an evaluation of experimental coffee varieties resisting coffee leaf rust (la roya), a devastating fungus affecting coffee production.
Frankie PondolphJune 26, 2018
Since the creation of Equal Exchange 32 years ago, people and relationships have always been at our center. Coffee, chocolate, tea, mangoes, cashews; these are the mediums which allow us to show the world that ethical supply chains are viable and that there is more than one way to do business. Radicalism lies within the Equal Exchange model: a supply chain that is characteristic of true democracy, cooperative learning, transparency, and respect for our planet and its people.
Frankie PondolphMay 30, 2018
One of the challenges of worker coops, consumer coops, and producer coops is how to reconcile two competing high level goals. On one hand most of these coops have an economic/organization/service mission. On the most basic level this is to serve the members which translates to goals such as good and affordable food in the case of a consumer coop, or higher prices in the case of a producer coop, or rewarding and economically sustainable jobs in the case of a worker coop. The other competing goal is to run the organization democratically where members participate in some type of joint democratic development and learning process.
Frankie PondolphMay 22, 2018Categories:
As April 4th passes and June 5th approaches, it is impossible not to take stock in those cataclysmic events 50 years ago and to reflect on what it means to be doing the work we are doing today. The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, to anyone who was alive and alert at the time, were shocking and to many, a source of deep despair and pessimism on the potential for making real progress in this country on matters of racial and economic justice. The loss felt by millions was profound; the sorrow, and even fear, very real. Fear for what the future might bring. Fear that any leader who was actually challenging the entrenched power structure would not survive.
Frankie PondolphMay 17, 2018Categories:
Jessica Jones-Hughes & Ravdeep Jaidka of OKE, USA
Over the last decade, avocados have transitioned from an exotic fruit to a grocery staple, finding a place in U.S. kitchens on a weekly basis. Last year, avocados surpassed bananas as the most valuable fruit import in the U.S. This statistic alone speaks to the immense boom that avocados have seen in the U.S. market.